Are people just pawns in God’s chess game?

Questions Answered

Are people just pawns in God’s chess
Job 1:13–19

often seems that people are caught in events beyond their
manipulated by God or Satan. They may feel forced into situations
they would
not choose if they were given a chance. While this seems unfair,
there is
another way—a higher way—to interpret the circumstances of life. We
can see
them as God-given opportunities to cooperate with his purpose and
plans and,
by serving him, to fulfill something far more significant than our
own schemes
ever could. We are more than pawns in a chess game. We can honor
Almighty God
by the way we live and die.

Still, many unanswered
questions remain. Only God knows why dozens of
bystanders had to die in this
unfolding drama between Satan and God. We
struggle with the fact that some
who are righteous have short, tragic lives
while others who are wicked enjoy
wealth and long life. One thing we can
affirm, however: What seems unfair in
this life will be made right in
eternity. Our problems will be resolved and
many of our questions answered.

God has permitted Satan certain freedoms.
He is called the “prince of this
world” (Jn 14:30) and “the ruler of the
kingdom of the air” (Eph 2:2). Satan
can sometimes use the forces of nature,
sickness, plagues and wicked people.
Though God dealt a fatal blow to Satan
through Jesus’ death and resurrection,
Satan continues to struggle against
God, and will do so until the end (see Ro

There are two sides
to the suffering of the righteous: the earthly and the
heavenly. The apostle
Paul understood the tension of living in a corrupt world
as one controlled by
the Spirit. He placed his trust in God and things
eternal—God’s justice,
mercy and love— not in the temporary things of this
world—success, wealth and
fame. Paul recognized that our struggle is not
against “flesh and blood” (Eph
6:12) and took courage in knowing that our
“citizenship is in heaven” (Php

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